18 Oct 2017 12:34

Rada speaker urges protesters not to prevent lawmakers from exiting parliament building

KYIV. Oct 18 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada speaker Andriy Parubiy has harshly criticized protesters' attacks on parliamentarians near the Rada building and demanded that they not obstruct lawmakers or Rada employees from freely entering and leaving the building.

"I believe it is unacceptable that Ukrainian people's deputies and Verkhovna Rada staff members were assaulted while walking out of the parliament building yesterday," Parubiy said in opening the parliamentary plenary session on Wednesday.

"I simply demand now that the event organizers ensure free entry to and exit from the Verkhovna Rada building for both people's deputies and staff members," he said.

The Verkhovna Rada should not be blockaded, Parubiy said.

It was reported earlier that about 4,000 people gathered near the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv on Tuesday. Taking part in the rally were members and supporters of various political groups and non-governmental organizations, including the Movement of New Forces, Batkivshchyna, Samopomich, Anatoly Hrytsenko's Civil Position, the Democratic Alliance, Svoboda, and the National Corps. The protesters are demanding the abolition of parliamentary immunity, the establishment of a specialized anti-corruption court, and the introduction of a proportional election system with open rosters.